|But when he heard the women weeping,
lamenting his sorry state—
madam with her oriental gestures
and her slaves with their barbarized Greek—
the pride in his soul rose up,
his Italian blood sickened with disgust
and all he had worshipped blindly till then—
his passionate Alexandrian life—
now seemed dull and alien.
And he told them “to stop weeping for him,
that kind of thing was all wrong.
They ought to be singing his praises
for having been a great ruler,
so rich in wordly goods.
And if he’d fallen now, he hadn’t fallen humbly,
but as a Roman vanquished by a Roman.”
|Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard|
|(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992) |
|- Original Greek Poem